October 31 holds the golden ticket for all little creepy crawlers running around their neighborhoods in search of the ultimate Halloween jackpot-the house with the king-sized candy bars. While these mermaids, ghosts, superheroes and monsters will be frolicking about in most festively decorated cities across the U.S. in search of sugary spoils, some communities truly go above and beyond to create the ultimate Halloween experience for their excited fright night patrons. Whether it's through exceptional community-wide events, over-the-top treats, or a combination of both, each of these five notable communities is a tried-and-true trick-or-treater's paradise.
Think old-timey brick row houses lined with wrought iron fences, decorated to the hilt with cobwebs, skeletons, fog machines and other ghoulish fare up and down narrow cobblestone streets. This historic American neighborhood has a Halloween pedigree backed by sources like Zillow, Boston Magazine and AOL Travel, which all bill the community as one of the number one Halloween hotspots in the country due to easy navigability, accessibility to brick-sized candy bars and an atmosphere that screams-well, screams. Visitors will even find that the two most popular streets in the neighborhood, Pinckney and Mount Vernon, are completely closed off to traffic on All Hallows Eve to maximize ultimate trick-or-treating potential. There's even a bonus for an older crowd looking to celebrate the occasion-the annual Beacon Hill with a BOO! tour, not for the faint of head or heart, takes those brave enough on a walk through time, exploring the murderous and mysterious past of the now quiet residential community.
If you didn't know Halloween had a capital, you do now. The small Minnesota town has staked its claim to fame on the self-proclaimed title of Halloween Capital of the World, following nearly 100 years of some of the longest-running Halloween celebrations in the country. Begun in 1920, the now two-week-long festivities go above and beyond to encourage a family-friendly setting on the spook-tacular evening, void of tricks and pranks. With a boisterous Grand Day parade and annual house decorating competition, no one can deny that the community takes itself very seriously as a haven for anxious trick-or-treaters. You can pretty much bet that any community that has an entire website dedicated to their Halloween celebrations is likely to have the strongest candy game.
Walk along the three-block stretch down Hillcrest Avenue and find yourself in one of the most immersive trick-or-treating experiences in the country. Quickly gaining national recognition as one of the most decked out neighborhoods to visit on Halloween, homeowners in Crescent Hill go above and beyond to make sure each yard is decorated to the nines with a different theme-whether it be Area 51 or The Wizard of Oz. The street transforms from a quiet suburban residency into a fantastically frightening wonderland at the beginning of October, and garners around 75,000 visitors each year throughout the month. Get even more excited kids, because each homeowner is estimated to purchase $200-300 worth of candy every year, ready to help fill up those bags and stomachs with all the sugary goodness you can hold. On the opposite end, Halloween is just as much about giving as it is receiving in this neighborhood. Most homes will have milk cartons at the end of their driveways for trick-or-treaters to drop off canned goods to be donated to United Crescent Hill Ministries, which distributes them to impoverished areas in the surrounding community.
Harbor Springs' status as a top family vacation destination is only furthered by its family-friendly Halloween celebration rituals. For a unique spin on the classic trick-or-treating practice, the town hosts a community-wide "Trunk or Treat" Halloween party, where the owners of parked and registered cars decorate their trunks and distribute candy to eager comers in a more close-proximity, festival-like environment. They also hold a variety of Scare Day parades, including a children's costume parade boasting the best and scariest of the fright night circuit.
We know this city has a lot of ground to cover, but with so many highly ranked neighborhoods for trick-or-treating fun, we couldn't limit the selection to just one. Head over to Belvedere Street with your really young ones for an entrancing journey through the best of what Halloween has to offer, including 5-star decorations and even a window-sized puppet show featuring kid-favorite characters. Make your way next to the Noe Valley area, where you'll be surrounded by rows of Victorian homes decked out in the best of the best-and serving up the greatest sugary treats. Speaking of the best treats, Presidio Heights, one of the most posh neighborhoods in the bay area, is quite popular among avid trick-or-treaters, known for breaking out the big bars and even, sometimes, distributing stuffed animals alongside the normal candy haul.
We all love a good Christmas commercial, and these have never disappointed.
So, you've found the perfect gift. Present the perfect present with these jaw-dropping gift wrap ideas!
Here are ten modern Christmas movies that are sure to make your holiday season merry and bright.
Skip the after dinner naps and get into some fun quality time.
Make Thanksgiving a delightful celebration for all ages with these kid-friendly Turkey Day tricks.
Hansel and Gretel haven't seen anything yet.
Check out this master list of super-easy Thanksgiving tips and shortcuts that don't skimp on flavor.